Don’t Expect Gay Tourism When You Deny Gay Rights

Author: , April 28th, 2014

Gay TravelAs more places pass laws that recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people as equal citizens under the law, the LGBT community is spending where they are welcomed – and one of America’s favorite destinations – Great Britain – has seized the opportunity with a new ‘Love is GREAT’ campaign timed to coincide with the start of marriage equality laws in England and Wales.

The world’s largest global research initiative into the lives of LGBT people has just released new stats showing that most LGBT Americans now factor in the legal situation of their next vacation destination before booking their holiday.

This is leading to smarter politicians realising that betting against equality is not a good choice. Recently the Republican Party in Nevada took opposition to gay marriage off their official party agenda. That is smart politics – and smart business. With Las Vegas eyeing off the lesbian and gay tourism market already, having marriage equality will help cement that destination’s appeal to a larger number of potential tourists.

And it is not just those that want to marry that will preference the growing number of places whose LGBT citizens are starting to enjoy something approaching equal legal rights at home.

By Ian Johnson – Huffington Post

Uganda and Gay Rights

Author: , April 27th, 2012


It is a sad day in our world when we hear about persecutions and threats against people simply because they have a different way of living or belief system. This is abundantly clear in Uganda where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Ugandans fear for their lives and live in hiding. Homosexual ‘activity’ is illegal under the Penal Code Amendment (Gender References) Act 2000 which changed the wording of, ‘any male’ to ‘any person’, to include women.

The Ugandan authorities will say that it goes against African culture. Yet, there is an estimated, half a million LBGT folks in Uganda.  The government has gone as far as introducing a bill that will sentence LGBT ‘repeat offenders’ to life in prison if convicted. This is not a new law in Uganda; it is an inherited one that has been retained since Uganda was under British colonial rule in the 19th century. The punishment then, was life imprisonment if convicted.

The laws have been cemented with sidebar laws that include prohibition against same sex marriages. This law was signed and included into the Ugandan constitution on September 29th, 2005.

In 2009 another blow hit the LGBT community and the noose tightened. The Uganda Anti Homosexuality Bill was introduced. It dictated that the people of Uganda were to report any homosexual behavior within 24 hours of witnessing it or face 3 years in prison. The Ugandan government would also ask for the extradition of any of its citizens living, working or visiting abroad, who are in a same sex relationship. Unbelievable!! To add insult to injury any individuals or companies who promote LGBT rights would be penalized.

All of this is a gross violation of human rights. LGBT and human rights defenders live in constant fear and rightly so. David Kato founded the Sexual Minorities Uganda organization in 2004 but was beaten to death in January 2011. The fight is still on and the organization has a new leader, Frank Mugisha.

What a pity that a beautiful country such as Uganda is stifled by stringent laws that frighten and threaten its citizens. It is also unfortunately not the only African country with laws against the LGBT community. This link will take you to a fairly comprehensive list of countries in Africa and elsewhere, which highlights their stance on the subject. Scroll down to the title within the article: LGBT-related laws by country or territory. Notice all the pretty green ticks for South Africa, one of the few African countries that is Gay friendly.

Uganda is truly a remarkable country with many attractions that will draw millions of visitors. Such as visits to the endangered mountain gorillas, but unfortunately it is not welcoming to all.

Celeste Wilson is a travel specialist and co-founder of a comprehensive internet guide to travel in Africa. Visit to learn more about Africa as a travel destination.



Should Gay Travel and Gay Rights Intersect When We Travel?

Author: , January 11th, 2012

When we as Western tourists go to Africa, we go to view nature – to visit tribal villages, to see the dance and hear song; we sit eagerly at waterholes waiting for the lioness to pounce the unsuspecting deer, while the landscape and the vast bush yields to the pristine African sky. All the while, we witness the beauty, but fail to note the torturous claim on the souls of all which is natural – with our own orientation intact and our safety masked by the clutch of our wallet brimmed with American dollars, do we care?

Well, we should, within the context of the hypocrisy of our feigned safety on foreign soil. No do not think of those in the village beyond, but do hold a lover close, through the night. Caress and giggle and exalt the laughing hyena, the night is won, like any other back home, yet here you are a welcome criminal, in this foreign land.

Perhaps that innocuous waterhole and the luxury bungalow is plunked in the middle of one of the 37 seven countries which criminalizes homosexuality. Did you know?

Full Story from O-Blog-Dee-O-Blog-Da

Click here for gay travel resources.


Gay Tourists Avoiding Greece

Author: , August 28th, 2011

Greece Gay TravelDebt-ravaged Greece’s biggest industry is missing income from a group of visitors that spends more than $140 billion a year.

Gay and lesbian tourists, who for decades flocked to the islands of Mykonos and Lesbos, have removed Greece from their list of top destinations because of discrimination, according to surveys by Amsterdam-based OutNow Consulting. The government says it intends to boost tourism and will change the law so Greece follows France and the U.K. in recognizing same-sex partnerships.

“Rights do not cost much in terms of finances, but they do a lot to promote the countries that adopt them,” said Martin Christensen, co-chairman of ILGA-Europe, a Brussels-based rights group. “If Greece opens marriage to same-sex couples, the international media will for once give the country good press that would boost morale and can increase revenue.”

Full Story from SFGate

Click here for gay travel resources in Greece.

Gay Travel: Celebrate Gay Rights in These Great Places

Author: , June 17th, 2011

What better way to celebrate Gay and Lesbian Pride Month than to pay tribute to cities, states and countries where monumental strides in LGBT rights have taken place. Wonderful considerations for your next vacation away, these gay-friendly spots act simultaneously as historical landmarks and present-day vacation destinations.

Athens, Greece: Some of the first-recorded mentions of same-sex relationships, unions and marriages trace back to Ancient Greece in 7th Century B.C. Socially accepted relationships between older men of status and teenage boys were prevalent throughout society in Athens, as were more formal unions among couples now cited in Ancient Greek writings. Though relationships between two men were eventually banned, thousands of years later, Greece is back on track. In 2011, more than 10,000 activists marched at the annual Athens Gay Pride parade to show their support for LGBT rights.

Los Angeles, United States: One of the first national gay rights organizations, the Mattachine Society, was founded in Los Angeles by Harry Hay in 1950 to help improve the civil rights of homosexuals. Eventually expanding to San Francisco, Chicago, D.C. and New York, the group assisted victimized men and women, and educated citizens on the treatment of gays and lesbians during the 50s and 60s. Today the City of Angels still brims with art and culture nurtured by its active LGBT community.

Full Story from

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Gay Rights Groups to Orbitz: Drop Fox News Advertising

Author: , May 18th, 2011

Several prominent gay rights groups are urging travel site Orbitz to drop its advertising from Fox News because of the network’s antigay content.

Leaders from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Courage Campaign, and Equality Matters have all signed a letter to Orbitz CEO Barney Harford asking that his company stop advertising on Fox News.

The letter cites former Gov. Mike Huckabee hosting a show despite his statements in the past, comparing homosexuality with drug abuse, incest, pedophilia, and necrophilia. The letter also mentions host Bill O’Reilly warning about the dangers of allowing gay people to be near children, and others on the network “perpetuating the claim that repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ would impact troop readiness and morale, despite multiple reports — including the Pentagon’s — to the contrary,” according to a statement released Monday.

Full Story from The Advocate

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Spain: Three Cities Honor Gay Rights, Community

Author: , February 26th, 2011

Three Spanish cities are recognizing LGBT people via public works. In March, the Barcelona city government will place a large marble pink triangle in Ciudadela Park, where the Catalonian Parliament is located.

“This is a necessary monument to remember the discrimination, repression, humiliation, persecution, attacks, and assassinations that the LGTB community suffered for centuries and very especially during the Franco dictatorship,” said Antonio Guirado, secretary general of the Catalonian LGBT umbrella group Gay Lesbian Coordinator.

“It is an act of justice and reparation but also will become a permanent symbol of the commitment of the city of Barcelona in the fight against homophobia.”

Full Story from Bay Windows

Click here for gay travel resources in Spain.

Nepal Appealing to Gay Tourists

Author: , March 12th, 2010

Nepal wants to paint Mount Everest pink. It wants gay honeymooners trekking through the Himalayas. It wants to host the world’s highest same-sex wedding at Everest base camp. But mainly, the conservative Hindu nation wants a chunk of the multibillion dollar gay tourist market to help pull it out of poverty.

That quest – brushing aside historical biases in pursuit of economic opportunity – is symbolic of one of the gay rights movement’s most stunning successes. Just five years ago, police were beating gays and transsexuals in the streets. Now, the issue of gay rights is almost passe here.

Nepal has an openly gay parliamentarian, it is issuing “third gender” identity cards and it appears set to enshrine gay rights – and possibly even same-sex marriage – in a new constitution. “(It) is not an issue anymore, for anybody,” said Vishnu Adhikari, a 21-year-old lesbian. “Society has basically accepted us.”

Full Story from Bartlesville Live

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Political Victories Can Draw Gay/Lesbian Travelers

Author: , March 10th, 2010

Houston’s election late last year of its first openly gay mayor – Annise Parker – coincided serendipitously with a renewed effort to attract gay and lesbian visitors to the fourth-largest city in the nation.

In the eyes of the city’s tourism office, Parker’s election was not only an important political win, but also presented a marketing opportunity. The city launched a campaign titled “My Gay Houston,” featuring gay Houstonians in print advertisements and on a newly-revamped website, as their latest effort in a years-old gay campaign.

As other destinations have also elected openly gay lawmakers or the passage of pro-gay legislation, many have followed Houston’s suit in ramping up their LGBT promotional efforts. So does it matter if the mayor of your long-awaited getaway is a proponent for gay causes? Or if their city council recently enacted domestic partner benefits?

Full Story from Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources.